COVID-19 - Why book my airfare now?
There is so much uncertainty now that COVID-19 has entered our lives. We struggle to know what the future holds because so much changes so quickly. It makes planning anything very difficult, but not impossible.
Believe it or not now is actually the time to be proactive in booking airfare for your upcoming mission trips. This is not us trying to be that used car salesman and push you into something just so we can make a quick buck. This is actually to help make sure you can secure the flights you need for your trips next year.
It’s no secret that the airline industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Here are a few quick things to note about the current situation of the airline industry:
Many airlines have had to cancel up to 95% of their flights during this pandemic.
Airlines are saying it will be a minimum of two to three years before they are operating at the same flight capacity that they were prior to COVID-19.
Many U.S. airlines accepted a bailout package from the government that requires them to not make any major reductions to staff or pay through September 30, 2020.
Of those airlines, many have stated that come October 1, 2020 they will drastically be reducing their staff.
So what does all this mean for you?
It means that with reduced staff and reduced flights, there will be fewer planes flying to your destinations next year. This means that trying to get seats on planes just a few weeks prior to travel could be difficult and expensive. We’ve already started to see this in the Latin America market for flights for spring break 2021. Many destinations that would have three to four flights a day from each carrier are down to one or two.
Airlines generally open seats 330 days in advance (roughly 11 months from today). We’ve always encouraged our clients to book early to ensure they have the best price on the flights they want for their trip next year. That is encouraged now more than ever.
I know that many of your organizations have been effected by COVID-19 and cash flow can be an issue. Trying to purchase tickets 330 days prior seems daunting even if they are a great price. Below are two great options that we can look at for you that would help limit your organizations liability, while still allowing you to plan and prep for future trips.
Option 1 - GROUP AIRLINE CONTRACTS - 10 or more passengers
Able to hold seats with just a small refundable deposit.*
No names are required in order to book space
Can cancel with no penalty up to 100 days prior to travel*
Can cancel at 45 days prior to travel and only loose your deposit*
*All points are general and if there are exceptions to these policies our account reps will advise before requiring you to pay any fees.
With group contracts you are able to hold space with no names and just a small deposit per person up until 100 days prior to departure. If you decide at 100 days that your organization can no longer take this trip we can cancel the space and fully refund your deposit. If at the 100 day mark you still aren’t sure, then you can continue to hold the seats till roughly 45 days prior to make your final decision. The 45 day mark is when tickets would need to be purchased. If you waited till that 45 day mark and decided you still couldn't go then all you would loose is your deposit per person.
Also as a bonus, we are also seeing some airlines that are letting us push the deposit date back further than normal, which means you may have more time to get your deposit to us.
Option 2 - HUMANITARIAN TICKETS
Fully refundable tickets (less cancellation penalty)
Just need names in order to hold space.
Could wait to pay until 45 days prior to travel. (depends on airline)
Possible 3rd piece of luggage free. (depends on airline)
High Point has access to several humanitarian contracts with various airlines. These tickets are fully refundable minus a cancellation penalty. Some of these airlines will allow you to hold tickets with just the names of the passengers that are going to travel and will allow you to delay payment until 45 days prior to departure before they would need to be purchased. Some tickets will require a non-refundable deposit in order to book, but generally it's not more than $100 per person.
If you know where you want to go and the names of those that are traveling then this is a great option for you. Also, as a bonus, some of our humanitarian contracts allow for a 3rd piece of luggage for FREE!!!
So if you already have your plans for where you want to go in 2021 let us know. Even if it’s more than 330 days out from travel, send it on over, we can get it queued up in our system and the day an airlines open we will work to get pricing for you.
So what are you waiting for? Let us help you get a quote today!